Posted by gary, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on Sep 29, 2007 at 9:20 pm
Its nice to know that when a family is greiving ,there is someone waiting to judge them without knowing the circumstances. Perhaps you should also blame the parents of kids who are killed while riding their bike. Obviously the parents are letting the kids ride their bikes in the middle of the street.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 30, 2007 at 8:59 am
Probably riding their bikes without a helmet too. Actually, I find it nice to know that there will be someone out there waiting to criticize those who point out the elephant in the room. Perhaps you also judge others too readily?
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 30, 2007 at 9:37 am
man dont get down on her parents. i knew rachel and she was cool kid. her parents left her with her grandmother and she had a really hard life. sure she made some bad choices in her life, but what teenager doesnt? this is sad to see you guys put the guilt on her parents when she hardly even knows them. so guess what, leave her alone and let her rest in peace. we love you rach. and cant wait to see you again [9/28/07]
Posted by Cathy, a resident of the Heritage Valley neighborhood, on Oct 1, 2007 at 9:45 am
We donít know the circumstances of why these young people were on the road at this early morning hour. Yes, my first thought is why parents would let a 14-year-old out in the middle of the night. We all make choices some choices are better than others, and if we are lucky we learn from the bad choices. The majority of us do not know this family or the history, she may have been a run a way, or a child in foster care who snuck out in the middle of the nightÖWe just donít know. Think about how her family and friends are feeling and what they must be going through just let them grieve and let Rachel rest in peace.
Posted by katee, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 1, 2007 at 12:14 pm
I can guarantee that when I was 14, my parents wouldn't let me out at that time with 19 yo males. I can also guarantee that I wouldn't have asked for permission and they would never have known until they got the phone call.
Posted by Louise, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 1, 2007 at 1:41 pm
We have all made bad choices, especially when we were teenagers. And no parent or grandparent would have said 'sure,go ahead at 2 in the morning with a bunch of guys out in a car.' I'm sure she was out without permission. I confess I snuck out of my window in the wee hours to TP houses, soap windows and wreak havoc on the neighborhood.
I got a chance to regret those actions and learn from them though. Rachel didn't. And her family has to live with the empty chair at the dining table, the missing gifts under the tree at Christmas and the thought of the wedding and children she'll never have.
Give Rachel and her family a break and hope other teenagers can learn from this.
Posted by GARY, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on Oct 1, 2007 at 6:07 pm
In Stacy's world , we can blame George Bush for allowing his daughters for going into bars when they were underage.Why would W. allow that? We can also blame the parents of kids who shoot themselves.What kind of parents allow kids to point guns at themselves? Parents never know EVERYTHING about what their kids are doing at all hours. Well...in Stacy's world they do.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 1, 2007 at 8:37 pm
In GARY's world, we can extend our assumptions about what other folks on a public forum may tersely write beyond any original intent, put words into other peoples mouth's, then attack them insincerely on an emotional level instead of asking for clarification. How about leaving GARY's world for a change?
Just for the record, here is what I wrote a few months ago on this website at this address: Web Link
While I agree that parents have certain obligations they need to be held accountable for, all blame cannot go to the parents. The teens have responsibilities too that they need to also be held accountable for. We can't say it was the parents who invited 150 people to an unplanned "movie night".
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2007 at 8:03 pm
Wow, doesn't that sound like a conflict to what I wrote about parents allowing this or that above? I must be some sort of hypocrite. No, actually my thoughts (like much of this world) are much more complicated than the black and white picture folks like GARY are trying to fit me into. But I guess black and white pictures are easier for us to deal with psychologically.
So let me provide some clarification as to what I meant. Ultimately parents do need to take some blame. After all, we're the ones who raised our kids (or didn't raise them) and shaped them before they hit puberty and strike out on their own. It is my belief that many parents do not know how to consciously shape kids and so we end up with teenagers who go around and beat up others with bats, teens who feel like they are entitled to everything, and teens who make poor choices because they've never been given the opportunity to make the right choices. Certainly some kids die due to true accidents, but at least as parents we can do a much better job at empowering these children to do the right thing and treat others with respect. Part of that starts with ending the coddling of teens and treating them like little children.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Oct 1, 2007 at 9:58 pm
Some of the arguments being raised here are unreal, in my opinion. I sense some of those offended by Stacey's remarks are feeling a bit threatened by their own personal situation with their kids.
Fact: a 14 year old girl was out with three 19 year old males on a school "night" and dies on I680 at 2:45 am in a vehicle crash. A couple of writers point out the obvious, that there should be some level of responsibility shared by the parents.
This struck some kind of nerve in some people. Flying to the defense of the parents these writers compare this situation with kids getting hit by cars on bikes (a true accident or should parents also teach defensive bike safety?), Bush's daughters drinking (where were the secret service?), teens who commit suicide (this is very serious, no? and parents don't have a share in this?), sneaking out and tp'ing, soaping, and wreaking neighborhood havoc (my oh my, but no subsequent high speed driving on I680?). And, oh by the way, we did nasties when we were teenagers too, therefore, it is implied that parents are off the hook.
Let's not forget the "grieving" argument, which implies that no one is supposed speak up on parental responsibility because the family is grieving. Why not? It is not like the writers are calling the family up to criticize and harass them. They are simply posting to this blog for community discussion. Are they supposed to speak to each other in whispers when speaking their mind?
Teenagers of all ages are responsible for their decisions, and as long as they live in the house of the parents, and are supported and enabled by the parents, the parents have a responsibility to teach, love, advise, mentor, set rules, monitor, punish, complement, spend time with, promote, lead, be exemplary, show leadership, and otherwise raise those teenagers. When the teen makes a bad decision, you share in the responsibility for that bad decision whether you like it or not. Their failure is your failure, too.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Oct 2, 2007 at 10:05 am
Mike's original comment about why this girl was out at 2AM says it all. Any responsible parent (or caregiver/guardian) that cares enough about their child without spoiling them would be there to prevent this from happening. And yes, the parent is at fault.
These parents/guardian act as enablers, they don't discourage this. There is too much of this 'I'm not responsible for my actions' mentality that breeds this lack of regard for one-self that contributes to these types of actions. Just look at all the obese parents and their obese kids that parade down Main St. on any given day and tell me that's not the parents fault as well. We can blame that on genetics, but the lines at Dean's never seem to get shorter
And my kids don't get to stay out, let alone leave the house without permission from the me or my wife.
Posted by Sue, a resident of the Heritage Valley neighborhood, on Oct 2, 2007 at 1:38 pm
I cannot believe how naive some of you are. Saying your kids never go out without you knowing about it, teaching kids love, kindness, responsibilityÖ Are you saying all kids and adults for that matter that makes a bad choice were never taught these values? Whatever! I canít tell you how many parents that I know that think that their kids are the model kid being so nice to the other kids, respectful and the qualities you have notedÖ Please, many of these the kids are the ones that are total bullies, verbally abuse their fellow students, and then go home to Mommy and Daddy. These kids normally have a large circle of friends and may even be considered cool (by some standards), but they bully classmates. Why? I believe it is because of something they are lacking in their self-worth. They make kids that are different feel as if they donít belong. They do the best they can to make sure the students hear terrible lies about them. And for some reason this makes these kids feel good. Come on parents, if you really think you have 100 % control over what and where your kids go and do, guess again.
From what I have heard, the girl killed in the car accident may have had a tough childhood, she made some bad choices, and maybe she was trying to fit in with a group of kids that would accept her. Perhaps she was one of the students being bullies, we donít know. I agree that we are responsible for our children and for what they are doing. However, I highly doubt that her parents/guardians are sitting around guilt free as they plan for her funeral and the future without her.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 2, 2007 at 4:25 pm
"I canít tell you how many parents that I know that think that their kids are the model kid being so nice to the other kids, respectful and the qualities you have noted"
Exactly my point. This happens because parents these days seem to think somehow good behavior is a natural state of a child and doesn't need to be actively taught. When was the last time you saw a male teenager open a door at a store for you or treated other females with respect? Or some kid said thank you to you when you handed them an object without being prompted? These are examples of values our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up with and taught their kids. What happened, parents?! And then we sit back and wonder at why teens have so many problems these days that should be easy to avoid...
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 8, 2007 at 3:45 pm
Thanks for the concern. I do like to play the role here of a gadfly, but perhaps it would be best if you don't concern yourself over me. I have spoken at city council meetings in the past and will do so again when they have something on the agenda I wish to address. I also vote at every election. I'd also advise you not to always equate social commentary with hate or negativity. It leads to Groupthink (Web Link).
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2007 at 10:31 pm
Stacy. You are a last word freak. I bet you cannot stop yourself. I bet you will write that you are and that it is cool and something else you think is super smart. All so you can justify having the last word. I can see it now!
Posted by Michael, a resident of the Stoneridge Orchards neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2007 at 1:48 pm
Everyone here needs to Shut Up Because only two people were 19 years old, one was 17, and i'm 16!!! and i was in the car, i told her to get out and i tried to help her out. BUT WHEN A TRUCK CRASH'S INTO A SMALL CAR at a really high rate of speed IT'S KIND OF HELPLESS PEOPLE. And you can blame to police for her death because after the crash i ran up to her and felt her pulse and heard her moaning. so she was alive and then the police dragged me away from the car and watched her die. we just went out to get taco-bell and on our way back, are horrible and hated ex-friend drori was going about 100 and starts swerving for fun. i knew it was going to end bad after we told him to slow down and he didn't i've known Rachel a REALLY REALLY LONG TIME and she was my best-friend so none of you have any idea what your talking about so just shut up.
Posted by Alyssa, a resident of the Foothill Place neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2008 at 11:06 pm
i knew rachel she was so kind and funny and will be missed . . . . i know what happened dat night and i woke up on my birthday and found dat my friend was killed. . . . and all the people need to shut up (edited by PW staff). . . . you dont know what happened all u know is what the tv and news papers said . . . . and some of it was hella hella wrong . . . . rachel i love you and i will miss you with all my heart . . . . and every day on my birthday i will think of u it will never be the same but i will all ways think of the strawberry's lol love u and may u R.I.P ! ! ! !
Posted by shandilynn, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on May 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm
rachel was 1 of my best friends... she had told her grandmother that she was going to be spending the night at her friends house... her grandmother had no idea she was going to be driving around that late... i miss her so much and i still cant beleive shes gone... and it hurts so much to noe im naver going to see her again... and just b4 she left me n her got into a huge fight... she left on a bad note with me and i never got to apologise... i feel so bad... i just hope she knoes i ment nothing i sed.... she was a very outgoing original girl... she took alot of chances.... and this chance took her life...
Posted by jordan, a resident of another community, on Mar 10, 2009 at 8:41 pm
im tired of the negativity of this tragic accident.
rachel wasmy bestfrend since i was littile i grew up with her her grandmother loved her more than youll ever know. yes rachel made a mistake. everyone does no1 is perfect but if u knew rachel varges. u would be devestated that she is gone. she is the only person i ever knew who cud put a smile on someones face even if they were in the worst mood. her smile lightened up a room and joyed frends and fams hearts. rachels heart wass so big and she was a joyffull rebelious teeen and a loving sister figure to me,i will always love her and she will be greatly be missd rest in peace best friend i will see you soon
Posted by Alston, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 11, 2009 at 1:25 am
DO NOT SPEAK ON THIS ANYMORE PLEASE. NONE OF U EXCEPT THE PEOPLE IN THE CAR KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, ME BEING IN THE CAR AND BARELY ESCAPED ALIVE WITH MY LIFE KNO HOW HARD THIS WAS ON ALOT OF PEOPLE. TO CLEAR A FEW THINGS UP WHILE IM HERE IS THAT NOT EVERYONE WAS 19, THERE WAS 1 19 YEAR OLD AND 2 18 YEAR OLD AND A 16 YEAR. THESE PEOPLE WERE NOT STRANGERS THEY WERE GOOD FRIENDS OF HERS AS FAR AS I KNO...TRAGIC EVENTS LIKE THIS HAPPEN ALL THE TIME AND WE LEARN FROM THEM. PLEASE SHOW YOUR LOVE TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE POSTING ON HERE SOME OF WHICH WERE THERE THAT NIGHT AND HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE MEMORY OF THAT EVERYDAY. MUCH LOVE TO ALL THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO KNEW RACHEL SHE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED.
Posted by Lisa(CJ mom), a resident of the Canyon Creek neighborhood, on Dec 3, 2009 at 7:24 pm
I know this is way after the fact, but it has been a long & tough road. Just two years now & my daughter is starting to live life again. See Rachel was her best friend,her light. I am so thankful for Rachel being in C's life because she helped mold her into the amazing person she is today, i am forever grateful. I have let myself get so angry at some of the ignorance i've seen regarding this accident, i am so glad Michael wrote something. I don't really know him, but i just can't even imagine the pain of what he went through. I wish i could help. They (police) did NOT do enough it's a fact! And i am sick of ppl putting Rachel down about being out & so on...you can't imagine what that girl went through in her young life. She is so missed always & NEVER FORGOTTEN<3 Love u lil one, see u some day.
Posted by Alvaro, a resident of another community, on Dec 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm
I was in the first and second grade with Rachel, she was a very good friend of mine that I kept in my memories for years. I moved from Hayward to the central valley and was looking through and old year book looking for old friends online. When I seen this I broke down completley. I know she wasnt out doing nothing bad she was a great person that I will remember for the rest of my life. For people to say she was out making trouble, you should all be ashamed of yourselves. You dont what her family goes through everyday with knowing that they will never see Rachel. Anyways I wish her family the very best and miss you very much Rachel. R.I.P Rachel Vargas.